Hundreds of NHS funded social care homes across England will need to raise their game in order to meet their business continuity planning obligations under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, warns Crises Control. Many of these care homes are currently not even aware that they are covered by the Act if they receive NHS funding for any of their clients.
If proposals from the emergency planning team at NHS England go ahead to adopt a joined-up approach with the Care Quality Commission, then the same higher emergency planning standards are likely to become accepted, and even a required practice across the whole sector, says Crises Control. There are currently 15,187 registered care homes in England (CQC) with over 62,000 patients receiving NHS funding (HSCIC), many of which are looked after in care homes.
Recent research carried out by Crises Control found that the top perceived business disruption threats amongst social care providers were loss of power and the impact of severe weather, which was mentioned by 42 percent of respondents. This was followed by fire at 29 percent and illness, health and safety and an IT outage all at 13 percent.
Of some concern was the fact that over 40 percent of the sample admitted that they either had no emergency communications system in place at all, or else had a system in place that would have been impacted along with their IT network if they suffered from a loss of power. Such a disruption event is much more common than commonly thought, with half of the sample having actually suffered from a loss of power during the last 12 months.
The full research results are available in the paper, ‘Business continuity planning and social care homes’ which is available here (registration required).